With ease in restrictions, pilgrims have been given permission to enter temples and spiritual places. To add, COVID-19 restrictions have come in handy for cheaters to deceive devotees of Lord Venkateswara by allowing them tickets for darshan at the Tirumala temple. There are also others who are promoting jobs in the name Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages affairs at the holy place and duping the jobless. Surprisingly, this is continuing to occur notwithstanding the TTD, which handles affairs of the hill temple, warning people against getting duped by agents or fake websites offering darshan or job recruitment.
Several cases have been listed in the recent past, wherein devotees trying to book darshan or get Arjitha Seva tickets online have got tricked by fake portals. A senior temple official stated: “There are fake portals or middlemen targeting devotees seeking the most sought-after Arjitha Seva or break darshan tickets at Tirumala temple. With keywords, they attract a browser to their portals, collect details, ask them to pay online for their darshan and collect tickets that will be sent by e-mail on payment. Only subsequently, the devotees realize they have been scammed.”
The TTD has recognized over 20 fake websites and has filed police complaints, which are under investigation. Meanwhile, a post stating that TTD has released information for recruiting security guards became viral on social media recently. Taking serious differences, TTD explained that no such recruitment is taking place and also filed a case against the man responsible for the social media post.